Pirates series preview June 2-4

After taking two of three from the Pirates last weekend, I predicted the Mets were finally ready to bounce back and would sweep the four-game series with the Brewers. After the Mets took the first two and pushed their winning streak to three, I was ready to double down on my claim. Boy was I wrong. The Mets followed up their three-game winning streak with one of the worst starts of Jacob deGrom’s career, and a game where the offense looked like it couldn’t even contend against a Triple-A pitching staff.

It’s barely June, so the Mets are not in dire straits yet, but one thing I continue to preach is the need to avoid playing themselves into a deep hole. And that hole continue to get deeper. The Mets are six games under .500 and sit 10 games back from the division leading Nationals. They also face an 8.5-game deficit in the Wild Card, with the NL West continuing to boast three of the best teams in baseball right now.

The good news is that here the Mets are handed another golden opportunity to right the ship. Three weekend games with the Pirates, who currently occupy the basement of the NL Central, could jump start another winning streak. Coupled with the imminent return of Steven Matz and Seth Lugo, the Mets could presumably battle back to .500 by next weekend if they handle their business against Pittsburgh. The fact of the matter is that the Amazins need to find a way to settle down in all facets of the game if they’re going to remain competitive over the summer.


Game 1: Friday at 7:10 p.m. EST (TV: SNY; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes) (Free Shirt Friday)

Game 2: Saturday at 7:15 p.m. EST (TV: FOX; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes) (Fireworks Night)

Game 3: Sunday at 1:10 p.m. EST (TV: SNY; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes) (Play Ball Bat & Ball Set)


Friday: Sunny with a few afternoon clouds. High of 75 degrees. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 MPH. (20% chance of rain)

Saturday: Intermittent clouds. High of 75 degrees. Winds NW at 10 to 20 MPH. (10% chance of rain)

Sunday: Overcast with periods of showers later in the day. Possible thunderstorms. High of 72 degrees. Winds SE at 10 to 20 MPH. (60% chance of rain)


Friday: RHP Matt Harvey (4-3, 4.95 ERA, 4.55 DRA, .280 TAv, 0.6 WARP) vs. RHP Gerrit Cole (2-5,  3.65 ERA, 3.91 DRA, .274 TAv, 1.1 WARP)

Saturday: RHP Robert Gsellman (3-3, 5.75 ERA, 6.24 DRA, .306 TAv, -0.5 WARP) vs. RHP Tyler Glasnow (2-4,  6.95 ERA, 8.96 DRA, .334 TAv, -1.8 WARP)

Sunday: RHP Tyler Pill (0-1, 3.00 ERA, 8.68 DRA, .325 TAv, -0.2 WARP) vs. RHP Trevor Williams (2-3,  5.20 ERA, 4.50 DRA, .275 TAv, 0.3 WARP)


Jordy Mercer: .357 batting average, 1 home run, 3 RBIs over his last seven games.

Wilmer Flores: .385 batting average, 1 home run, 1 RBI over his last seven games.

Lucas Duda: .300 batting average, 4 rome runs, 8 RBIs over his last seven games.


Josh Bell: .087 batting average, 0 home runs, 1 RBI, 9 strikeouts over his last seven games.

Jose Reyes: .107 batting average, 4 strikeouts, 0 home runs, .138 OBP over his last seven games.

Josh Harrison: .231 batting average, 6 strikeouts, 0 home runs, 0 RBIs over his last seven games.


The Mets took two of three from the Pirates last weekend in Pittsburgh and look to build on that success. New York saw strong outings from Harvey, Wheeler, and deGrom; the latter became being the first Mets starter to pitch into the ninth inning in 2017.


By some miracle, the Mets managed to go an entire series without sustaining an injury. Plus, Seth Lugo and Steven Matz are expected to return next after each completing a final rehab start. Sandy Alderson recently expressed his hope that Yoenis Cespedes would be able to be activated next week for a two-game set with the Texas Rangers. While the DH makes it an ideal situation, Cespedes is unlikely to return that quickly.

Pirates right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to make his next rehab start on Friday at Triple-A Indianapolis. Taillon struck out six over three scoreless innings in his first rehab outing with Double-A Altoona last Sunday. He had been recovering from surgery to treat testicular cancer. Left fielder Gregory Polanco had to be carted off the field after suffering a sprained ankle on Monday and is expected to avoid the disabled list. Being that he is day-to-day, he may see limited time this weekend against the Mets.


Zack Wheeler, on the team’s persisting struggles: “We got a really good team in here. We’ve been like that all season, we’ve been sort of streaky here and there and it’s a long season and we still got a few more months left and it’s still somewhat early. Once our pitchers really get rolling and out bats heat up, we’re one of the best teams in baseball.”

Photo credit: Jason Getz – USA Today Sports

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